Jonathan Rattner

TITLE: What do you want remembered?
DATE: 2013
MEDIUM: postcard, digital photograph
DIMENSIONS/RUN TIME: 6 1/4″ x 4 1/4″
DESCRIPTION/STATEMENT: I conceptualized this work while I was an artist in residence at NES artist residency in Skagaströnd, Iceland.

Front of Postcard: Spákonufell Mountain in Skagaströnd, Iceland, July 2013

Back of Postcard: Please write what you want remembered below, and place your postcard in the urn at the Ossuary. In July 2014, your postcard will be burned and the ash will be scattered over Spákonufell Mountain in Skagaströnd, Iceland, at the tip of the Greenland Sea.

In most of my work, I’m concerned with provoking reflection and reevaluation of the places, stories, memories, and objects we use to generate meaning as individuals. When I think of bones, I think of death, and when I think of my own death I am most frightened by the loss of my memories – meaningful moments and interactions that have helped define my life. This project, in its own small way, is my attempt to confront the inevitable or at least honor our memories as we still have them.

This work will also be part of NES’s 2013 – 2014 project “Summer We Go Public,” an initiative that invites visiting artists, tourists, and local residents in Skagaströnd to interact and collaborate with one another. Postcards will be on display for use at the Ossuary in English, and there will be postcards written in Icelandic, as well as in English, in different locations around Skagaströnd.


– Skagaströnd is a small fishing village at the tip of the Greenland Sea with approximately 530 residents.

– In addition to the artist residency, Skagaströnd is the home of the 10th Century prophetess, Þordis, a country music bar, and a marine biotechnology science hotel.

– Spákonufell Mountain is an important landmark in Skagaströnd, one that many visitors and locals have hiked and camped. It is approximately 2,000 feet from sea level.